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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who’s Going to Fix It?

I have bent pins in my fork lock on my Fatboy, so I need a new lockset.

What a pain. When I had my motorcycle in for service back in June, I asked them to look at it and yes, they did agree with me—I need a new lockset.

My motorcycle is still under warranty, so the lockset was ordered and the service date was set. Unfortunately (and this is totally my fault), I failed to write down the appointment date and that day blew by. Sigh.

Well, after a few choice words from the Service Department regarding my forgetfulness, I decided that I’d just get pick the darn thing up and put it in myself. I can understand getting fussed at for forgetting—but at the same time, I also know that they have been incredibly busy and probably took someone in on the spot. There’s no reason for the service guy to be rude. There’s really no reason to be rude, period…

I made my way down to the dealership with the intent to pick up my locks. Well, evidently, with warranty work, I have a choice: let them install the lockset and it is all free. Pick up the lockset for a self-install—they’ll charge me for the lockset which, for your information, is right at $125.

Well….that’s a no brainer…they are doing it *smile*.

I understand why it is like that. I was just annoyed for the service rep for being rude.

Since my lockset has been changed, the key I have for my ignition won’t match—which means I will have a different key for my ignition and my fork. Just another key to keep up with...yikes!!

Another day in motorcycle land…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How’s Your Aspen??

Great! Sunday opened to a gorgeous but cool day. My Mountain Shadow Rider Sister Sandy and I decided to do this poker run and headed out in the early morning. The ride went up to Victor and back down—we are going up to 10,000 plus feet. This ride was put on by the Harley Owners Group—and I haven’t ridden with them in a number of months and thought it sounded like fun.

I was right.

When I pull in, I see a number of my friends and we start chit-chatting. I talk to the lead group—the folks that do the ride for the last minute road conditions and the folks that run the stops—and Sandy and I decided to ride in with them.

Brrrrrrrrr…it was sooooooo cold!! Of course, if you know anything about our region—the snow is definitely up on Pike’s Peak. That is an indication of the weather that is in store for us. “Up there” is where we are headed. At 10:00 in the morning I know it is going to be cold!!!

The ride up is quite beautiful. While I’m not particularly crazy about the colder temps, the changing of the foliage is spectacular!! The reds, oranges and yellows of the trees in contrast to the green of the pines is gorgeous. I sit back in the saddle, ignore my cold fingertips and enjoy the ride.

Just when I think it can’t get any prettier, it does. The ride up to Cripple Creek is always fun with the twisties. My enthusiasm was tempered by the amount of sand on the ground from the snow. It was, however, far worth the ride. Up at the higher elevations, not only did I get to see the marvelous fall foliage, there was the added dimension of color with the snow on the ground and in the trees. Sigh…it was absolutely beautiful.

Our first stop is Victor. It is a little mining town in the mountains and, yes, it is very COLD! We stop in and the two riders set up to for the stop. I grab a cup of coffee, warm up a bit and we head out. It seems that we need to keep ahead of the riders doing the run.

As we come out of Victor, one of my favorite roads is ahead—a cool twisty road that I love to ride. We head out, and I’m stoked that I get to see this section of pavement once again. As we ride, there is a pair of motorcyclists coming towards us. One of the riders takes the curve with too much speed and steps on the brake much too hard. She doesn’t lock it up, but does manage to lay the bike down the amount of sand on the road. It was unnerving to watch unfold. Her riding partner picked up her bike, she waved us on when we stopped to ask if there was anything we could do. No harm done, thank goodness. She waved us on.

We continue on our way. As we do the various stops, we continue to lose two riders—the ones who volunteer to work the stops. Finally, down to three riders—we are headed down to the end point. By this time, the temps have warmed up and I am very much enjoying the ride. I’m no longer cold! Whoooooohooooooo!!

We get down to the end point of the ride and Sandy and I set up to work the last stop. I enjoyed working the stop—I got to talk to a good many members that I have never had the opportunity to visit with—and we had a really great time doing it!!

I’m glad I did!

All the riders are in; it is time for me to head out. One of my friends is coming back from vacation and I need to head up to the airport to pick her up. I say my goodbyes and ride out.

I’m glad Jeanne is back—it’s been a number of weeks since we have ridden together. We’ll ride the Toy Run next weekend and then do the Breast Cancer Awareness ride. Let’s hope for spectacular weather!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up~

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Man threatens bikers, gets hit with car

I won't say that this guy deserved this....however, I will say that how did this guy let this happen? How do you get run over by your own car (especially if no one was driving)? Some people shouldn't be driving--car or motorcycle...

Man threatens bikers, gets hit with car

An alleged drunken motorist who brandished a pool cue while driving at a group of motorcyclists was hit by his own car after he attempted to approach the bikers on foot, authorities said.

Richard Brooks, 50, of Concord, was pulled to safety by the motorcyclists after his car — which he left in reverse — knocked him into the highway on Thursday, said Officer Scott Yox of the California Highway Patrol.

Brooks, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence, told authorities he was offended by skeletons some of the riders wore on their leather Harley-Davidson jackets and what he perceived as their attempts to appear tough.

"It was his impression that they thought they were better than him," Yox said. "They were irritating to him and he felt he needed to do something about it."

Yox said authorities had no evidence the riders instigated the incident. "Instead of mocking him for going after them, they perhaps set their own safety aside to reach over and rescue him from a position of danger," he said.

Brooks, who was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes, remained jailed Friday in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's the Boobie Run

Well, that's the "unofficial" term for our run.

The time is about here: The Six Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Run

Put on by my Riding Group, The Mountain Shadow Riders...this is our big event--to raise money for breast cancer awareness. All donations raised in this ride/fundraiser will go the our local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Here are the details (lifted shamelessly from Trouble's 360 Blog):

The Mountain Shadow Riders - Colorado Springs Chapter of Women On Wheels(R) would like to invite you to join us for our 6th Annual Breast Cancer Awaress Charity Motorcycle Ride.

All motorcycles, all riders and all types of transportation are welcome.
All proceeds from registration and sales of chance drawing tickets will go directly to the Colorado Springs affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

DATE: Saturday Oct 7th
Donation: $10.00 per entry
Registration Begins: 9:00am -- Last Bike Out 10:30am
Start Location: Western Omelette – 16 S. Walnut – Colorado Springs
End Location: Thunder & Buttons –2415 W. Colorado Ave. (Old Colorado City)
Last Bike In: 2:30pm

One in eight women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is one woman every three minutes. We are determined to make a difference in the statistics. Join us to help find a cure for this deadly disease. The proceeds from this ride will be able to fund education, screening and treatment programs in our community and support national research to find a cure!

The BCA ride is a “Test your Memory” run; at each stop you will be asked to answer a series of questions regarding items or landmarks you may have seen along the ride route. The ride is approximately 100 miles long. Riders will turn in answer sheets at the ending location and cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place – depending on the number of questions answered correctly.

A Chance Drawing for various door prizes will also be held after the last bike is in. Last year we gave out OVER $3,500.00 worth of prizes and gift certificates!! This year should be even better!

Last year we raised $3,000.00 for the local Susan G. Komen affiliate – this year our goal is $5,000.00 – Nothing is impossible and we can achieve this goal with your help!

Additional information and pre-registration forms are available at The Mountain Shadow Riders' Website. Click on the link: BCA Ride on the left hand side (sorry, can't provide the link directly). Come out and ride with us!! I'll be there along with my many other biker chick's a day of fun...and yes, I'll be wearing my pink vinyls!!!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bike Karma: Part Two

It is amazing how things all conveniently “fit” together. All the ribbing I gave my friends from the weekend came back to haunt me yesterday.

My friend Sandy and I got out for an afternoon scoot—and headed up to Woodland Park. I had managed to burn a good bit of the afternoon so the ride was a planned short one.

Short…and cold…..there is snow on the Peak already!

Sandy and I stop in for a cup of hot chocolate and a snack. We decide to split a treat and settle on a humongo cinnamon roll with crème cheese icing…and the topper—warmed. The cashier handed the cinnamon roll to Sandy and she said “yummy…..and it’s sooooo warm!”

Me, in my typical non-thinking way, said “I’d like to take that warm cinnamon roll and rub it on me to warm up”.

The guy that was standing in line before us must have been listening as he turned and said “I’d give anything to be a cinnamon roll right now”.

Well, he was in riding leathers so he must have been cold too (as I deliberately miss the point)!

While we were out, Karla gives me a shout out and asks if we could be down in Old Colorado City before 5:30 PM to pick up a few items for our Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We have time and head down.

Of course, you know when you have to be somewhere at a certain time, traffic is always uncooperative. Today was no exception. Except the vehicles holding up traffic was two motorcyclists!!

We are all new at one point, we are all new at one point…to hold my patience.

We finally get around them and down to Old Colorado City. Pick up the donations from the local businesses and decide to eat dinner since it was that time of evening.

Somewhere along the line, I lose my keys. I’ll repeat this. I lose my keys. Not only is my bike key on my key ring—my bike is locked and my key is floating around somewhere! This key ring also contains my house key, my mailbox key, my post office box key, and the keys to my van.

Great. I have to go home to get my spare ignition key—but I still have to deal with getting in my house.

I hop on the back of Sandy’s bike…to find that she’s never ridden a full-sized adult on the back. I am a terrible passenger…as I want to help steer!! LOL. Okay, I promise to make good and be very still.

Well, it is a first for me too…I have never ridden on the back with another girl!!

Off we go.

It is sometimes quite interesting to be the rider of a motorcycle—I still get double takes on occasion. However, evidently two females on a motorcycle garners quite a bit of attention—finger pointing with conversation!

I won’t mention the fact that Sandy found it quite amusing and was adding to the fun by yelling “Yeah, she’s my “b”” every time she caught someone staring.

Gotta love it!

Well, I get home to get my key….of course; I have to break into my home to get in since I’ve lost my keys!!! I do get in, but cat burglar I’m not. We laugh about the whole thing.

Back out to the bike—gear up and get ready to head out. Before I leave, I do stop in to the only business that happens to be open at this time of night to ask if someone turned in a set of keys. Turns out that someone did…so I’m back to where I started…only some three hours later!!

Bike Karma….I take back all the ribbing I gave…as I’m not going to live this one down for quite some time. Sandy said she’s gonna get one of those shirts that reads “if you can read this, the ‘B” fell off”….in reference to me on the back of her bike….

Well, it is at least…interesting….LOL…

It’s all good and I was able to

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bike Karma

This story unfolded over the past few days and serves to teach that you just do not give any noise to your friends about their bike!

Friday night held a meeting of friends who wanted to wish me Happy Birthday (yes, Friday was my birthday)…so I rode down to the local hangout and talked trash and even some life stuff. At any rate, one of my friends (friend #1) decided he had to give noise his other friend (friend #2) about the bike he was riding Saturday morning in one of the local bike runs. It was quite funny to watch unfold—all that “guy” machismo talk!

Well, friend #2 took it in stride—and kept on rolling.

Night came to a close…and all is good.

The next morning, I called friend #1 to find out the meet time (I couldn’t remember the time—yeah, it is a bad habit of mine) and we visited for a few moments. Meet time reestablished and I had a few things to get together before getting out the door.

I ride down to meet my friends (friend #1) and we all ride down to the meet point. He thought his bike was acting a bit odd—but chalked it up to his bike being cold—and drove on. We ride down to meet everyone else and voila: his bike dies…..and won’t restart!

Now, friend #2 hasn’t shown up at this point. Friend #1 gets a ride back down to his house to get his other bike (yes, it is quite nice to have a spare handy)—and on the way down calls the bike shop to come and get his non-starting motorcycle. Unfortunately, he could not make the call—his cell phone was quite dead—so he makes the call on friend #3’s cell phone.


The cell phone karma incident would have stayed a secret until friend #3 made the comment—which of course we all jumped on!!

While my friend was getting his other bike, friend #2 shows up and of course, we gleefully fill him in on the morning’s events—because we know that he took a pretty good pounding about his motorcycle.

So when friend #1 shows back up with his other motorcycle and the Harley Davidson truck and trailer following him…it was on!! This is a bunch of people giving back the nonsense that was given the night before!

Too bad one the other female in the group didn’t think to find a “for sale” sign to put on the non-working bike!! It would have been just too funny!

Things calmed down and everyone got ready to pull out to get to the beginning of the run. Of course, I hold a collective breath when friend #2 starts his motorcycle—it would have been just too funny if he started having motorcycle issues at that point. His bike fired up and away we went.

There is a post script to this story….I had another friend who wanted to do the ride but was running late, so I stayed behind. My friends took off…and friend #2’s motorcycle gets out of the parking lot to the intersection…and died. I’m watching this whole scenario unfold—and he is working to get his bike re-started. After a few tries, he gets his iron pony started and down the street they go.

Of course, at the first stop, we meet up and I ask him what the problem was. His wasn’t bike karma….rather he is now the proud owner of the “turn on the gas” sticker…which I thought was quite fitting. That’s all I’m going to say about that!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No More Po-Ta-TO???

I happened upon this article that was published yesterday....interesting...

I'd ride it...that's for darn sure!!!

Sep 13, 2006 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX)

For decades, Harley-Davidson riders have tinkered with their motorcycles to give them a little deeper, richer, more distinctive sound. The syncopated "potato, potato, potato" rumble helps separate Harley from the rest of the motorcycle pack

Carl Vogel of Long Island, N.Y., says forget the sound. He has modified a Harley-Davidson chassis so that it houses 560 pounds of lead-acid batteries and an electric motor -- capable of reaching 85 mph, but sounding like an electric golf cart.

Vogel, an inventor-entrepreneur with a passion for alternative fuels, said he was afraid that other Harley enthusiasts would snub his bike because it was so odd. It resembles a regular motorcycle, but the lack of a gasoline engine, and the electric solar panel behind the seat, are immediate signs that it's a very different animal.

"They weren't too keen on the fact that there was no familiar sound," Vogel said of the critics. "But they appreciated all of the work that went into the bike."

Vogel has traveled across the United States on his electric Harley, a road trip that started in northern Wisconsin. After several years of sweating the details, he hopes to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in 2007.

"The real challenge was to get that many batteries in a bike and get all of the systems working together," Vogel said. "And I didn't want a little scooter. I wanted a big bike that had performance and was fun to ride."

The Milwaukee area has dozens of custom motorcycle builders, some of them building one bike at a time in their home garages. But you would be hard pressed to find a builder revving up a battery-powered Harley, said Frank Lisiak, a partner at Jamie's Customs motorcycle shop in Big Bend.

There's more interest in bikes with eight-cylinder car engines.

"It's more of a macho thing" than an electric motorcycle, Lisiak said.

Pursuing a similar dream, Harold Benich has converted a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy chassis so that it sports a diesel engine that runs on vegetable oil. Benich, who teaches auto mechanics at a Pennsylvania prison, is building a small manufacturing plant to produce the bikes in Cranesville, Pa., starting in January.

Benich's diesel motorcycle sounds something like a big garden tractor. The bike is less powerful than a stock Harley, but its fuel mileage is impressive -- up to 115 mpg when ridden conservatively.

"Normally, I get about 80 or 90 miles per gallon," Benich said.

It has been rare for the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer to endorse any of them as genuine Harley products.

This month, Harley announced it had signed a deal with Lehman Trikes U.S.A., of Spearfish, S.D., to build three-wheel motorcycles. The bikes will be sold through Harley dealerships, giving them immediate credibility in the cycling world.

Vogel doesn't aspire to sign a contract with Harley, and he hasn't even shown his battery-powered bike to the company.

Rather, he sees electric motorcycles as a natural fit with other interests such as alternative fuels.

"It could become a mass-production bike if there's enough call for it," Vogel said. "I can make them now with about a five-month lead time."

The electric motorcycle can be plugged into an electrical wall outlet and recharged in three hours. It can travel about 60 miles, at 55 mph, on a single charge.

The bike also has a diesel engine, mounted in a sidecar, that can recharge the batteries during driving time. The accessory engine runs on vegetable oil or biodiesel fuel made from soybeans.
The motorcycle's plastic gas tank holds gobs of wires and electronics, not gasoline. Flip a switch and the bike goes into reverse, just like an automobile.

As for the sound?

"I think it's very nice," Vogel said. "You're just gliding along the road, listening to the wind and the sound of the road underneath you."

Benich used an industrial diesel engine for his motorcycle. The same type of power plant is used for landscape tractors and mini-excavators.

"Mitsubishi just came out with a three-cylinder engine that packs a lot of power in a small package. I want to try one of those," Benich said.

A tinkerer by nature, Benich took two years to build his first diesel bike. Now he can build one pretty quickly based on his own chassis design.

"They say a motorcycle frame is an extension of your personality. My frames are made from square tubing, so I guess that makes me kind of square," Benich quipped.

He plans to quit his teaching job in January to pursue full-time manufacturing of diesel motorcycles selling for between $29,000 and $40,000. He travels around the country on his bike to motorcycle and diesel-engine shows. The fact that he uses a 50% blend of soybean oil draws interest from the crowd.

"The bike has never let me down. I have never had to walk home from a ride," he said.
Benich has shown his motorcycle to Harley engineers in Milwaukee and at the company's plant in York, Pa.

"But the market for this isn't big enough for someone like Harley-Davidson," he said.
Benich is building a diesel motorcycle for the 2007 Iron Butt motorcycle rally, which covers 11,000 miles in 11 days.

The idea of building a diesel Harley stemmed from a joke, but now it's serious.

"Just let me know if you have a bike that you want converted to diesel. I can do it," Benich said.

(c) 2006, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photo Courtesy of

Gear For Girls…

Biker Betty brought a tidbit of information regarding riding gear for girls at our last chapter meeting of the Mountain Shadow Riders. I heard 25 textile colors….whooooohoooooo!!

Evidently Scooter Gurl decided to contact the owner (yes, she’s a fashion conscious girl as well) to get info on this vendor.

Did you hear me when I said TWENTY FIVE COLORS????? I am thinking that I could definitely be the Rainbow Wahine with this source!

I was particularly interested in the note about gloves. I have been on the hunt for red riding gloves and as of today, have batted zero in finding a pair of red gloves. I’d be in heaven if I found a pair of really cool red leather gloves!!

The website is still under construction, but there is a really great picture on the site. I’m thrilled to have another choice in riding gear—black is wonderfully slimming, but it is tough to see a rider in black at night.

The image at the top is a sample of the gear available. I am interested in seeing the full catalog….whoooohoooooo cool safety gear!

Keep your eyes peeled for motogear. Hopefully they’ll have their site up and running soon!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Tribute to: John Giordano

From 2996...a tribute of victims of September 11.

In remembrance of the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001, I am stopping to pay tribute to John Giordano.

John Giordano was a mere 47 when he was killed at the World Trade Center. He was a resident of Newburg, New York and a firefighter for Engine 37, Haz Mat Battalion 11, 3rd Division of the New York City Fire Department. He gave his life saving others following the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11. He was laid to rest on November 3, 2001.

I was a half-world away when the attacks happened as I was living in Hawaii at the time. The day was typical as any other—I was on my way to school and as usual—in a hurry to get there. Traffic was worse that uncooperative as all the military bases were on high alert and all the roads were virtually parking lots because of the vehicle searches.

The days and weeks following September 11 were difficult. My favorite Aunt, who lived in Pennsylvania, took the attacks to heart and was devastated. My then husband, who was active duty at the time, was sent to a particularly nasty part of the world to do a job that no one talks about. He came back a different man and it cost all of us dearly—my husband became my ex and my son is now a resident of two single parent households.

Of course, I did not lose anyone close to me on September 11 directly. However, as a result of the attacks my family dynamics changed. I won’t say for the worst, because I, like most Americans, am resilient and worked towards making forward progress. I am in a good place again.

It is our responsibility to move forward and show our adaptability towards any future changes—good or horrific. Although we have to become stronger as individuals and a country, we should never forget those who paid with the ultimate sacrifice—their lives.

Life will never be the same after September 11—that is evident even today.

For this day and this moment, I pay tribute to John Giordano. God bless him and his family.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saddle Soar 1,000: The Ride Part Two

As we head down to Salina, the sky darkens. It is not looking good.

It never really rains; we do experience a smattering of drops while in Salina. Salina is our other “long” rest stop but we decide to head out—it isn’t raining and we want to stay ahead of it if at all possible. At this point, no one feels the need to rest so we press on—to save our time for a later stop. I feel great and am thinking that this is a piece of cake—as I’ve forgotten my misery of the early morning…

All of us are in the groove of riding and riding very well as a group. We are riding two up—side by side and it is like a choreographed dance in traffic. We ease around the other vehicles in the road like waltzing couples—well aware of the music playing and in tempo of each others rhythm.

The synchronicity doesn’t last as fatigue sets in. Sandy is starting to show signs of fatigue and she admits to the fact. We question her mental and physical status—but no, she says she is still able to go on.

It is her turn to lead and she is hesitant—voicing her fatigue and the fact that she dislikes leading in the dark. After some discussion, she takes the lead as long as she is safely riding. If any she indicates any problem, then another rider will take over.

We have a little more than 200 miles to do.

Off we go. We ride down the highway and things appear to be fine—at least until the darkness settles in. At that point, Del pulls around and takes the lead, pushing Sandy into the third position. Not only is he concerned about Sandy leading, he worries about the deer as well.

In the area in which we live--when the sun goes down, the temperature drops significantly. At our stop in Burlington, Sandy mentions that she is starting to feel the cold and I tell her that she needs to put her remaining gear on—including her rain gear. The rain gear will help block the wind. I already had mine on. We gas up, take a bit of time to warm up with coffee and loosen up with humor. It is time to go.

We have 78 miles to Limon. At this point, we are still on Interstate 70 so the ride on the roadway is fairly straightforward. With Del and Karla leading, Sandy in the middle and me riding sweep, we set out. It is after 10:00 pm.

IT IS COLD!!! Brrrrrrr….

Pulling into Limon, Sandy comments—“I can’t imagine how cold I would be if I didn’t put my raingear on”. I nod my head in agreement. We take a longer break as we are all past cold. I’m in the service station and won’t come out….I don’t wanna go on any more!!!

At this point, I ask Del what the temps are. He looks at his thermometer and says “this can’t be right—it is in the 20’s”. Well, I can’t say it felt like 20…I’m just frozen. Both Karla and Del decide to put their rain gear for another insulating layer. We all look like Michelin Men at this point. I have so much gear on my head that Karla questions if my helmet even fits on my head. I laugh because I know I look ridiculous, but I don’t care. I am more interested in staying warm!!

Sixty miles to go. We pull out and about two miles down the road; I wonder why on earth it never occurred to me to put my full faced helmet on. Well, I brought it in the event of rain, not cold. I’m not too bright at this point!

The ride is slow going. We are off the interstate and on Highway 24—a two lane road that cuts through the plains of Colorado. Not only am I worried about the cold, fatigue and especially concerned about Sandy, I worry about deer. I have two words that are quite descriptive of our journey—this sucks!!

The terrain becomes familiar as we get closer to Falcon. We make the last right turn—and then turn into the Safeway Gas station. I pull in front of the pump and shut my motorcycle off. I’m too cold to get off. I deep breath and I climb off, I grin and then we all start whooping and hollering---jumping up and down, giving high fives and hugging each other. Karla’s mother was there to greet us and witness the end of the ride.

Okay, I’m trying to get warm!


It’s over. I look at my odometer and note that I’ve logged about 1,066 miles. The time is a few minutes before midnight. Twenty one hours.

I’m tired is an understatement.

Not only that, I still have a half hour ride to get home.

Again, we fuel up, note the mileage, get Mom B to sign off my paperwork and we all set off together. This time I put my full-faced lid on and know why I didn’t wear it. I’m drafting way too much wind under my chin. Not fun at all.

As we make our way home, I manage to lose my lunchbox. Del sees it and stops to snag it for me. So that’s the third “incident”—Karla loses a winter glove, Sandy runs out of fuel, and I lose my lunchbox.

I get home, pull into the garage and stagger inside. I call Jeanne and tell her we are home. Answer a few e-mails to the MSR board (okay, I’m a geek), then go upstairs. I want to take a bath, but I’m just too tired. Instead, I crank up the electric blanket, strip my gear off, and climb in bed.

That’s the first (and probably last) Saddle Soar 1,000 I’ll be undertaking. Of course, I know better to never say never—and yes, I was up early enough to do the additional 500 miles for the 1,500 in 36 hours ride. Nahhhh, I’ll let it pass.

And yes, I know that the “official” ride is called the Saddle Sore 1,000…but the four of us rose to the challenge and soared above and beyond our limitations and supported each other to achieve our goals. While I’m going to put my distance riding skills away, I know that I’d be proud to ride with any of my four friends.

My thanks to Karla for putting this entire trip together, Del for coming along and watching over us three ladies, and to Sandy—her longest trip before this IB run was only 200 miles and she did it without a windshield!!

Next on deck is…the Mountain Shadow Riders Breast Cancer Awareness Run. We have a great day planned and I’m looking forward to this ride!! Whoooohoooooo!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, September 08, 2006

Saddle Soar 1,000: The Ride Part One

We set out down Woodmen Blvd and made the first turn—onto Interstate 25. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I think “this is it, we are finally on our way”.

Del is leading and Karla riding wing. I’m third and Sandy is riding sweep. I’m in the lull of riding—the drone of the engine in the background and the music of Aida is filling my ears as we head towards Monument Hill. It’s always cold going over Monument Hill—the elevation is over 7,000 feet. I give brief thought to the cold and then think of the cellular trees that are along the pass—it is a scavenger hunt item. Oh well, I’ll catch it on another day, I think.

The ride up to Denver is uneventful, and I follow along with no issues. We make the merge to I-76 and it’s all about riding. Just four bikes rolling down the interstate. Somewhere along the line, I notice something odd about Karla’s saddlebag—it’s open. I ride up beside her and point to her bag. She reaches down and slams it shut. I hope she hasn’t lost any gear.

Our first stop is Fort Morgan, CO and it’s around 5:00 AM. We’ve been on the road for about two hours. I think the operative word is COLD! Yikes! I am seeping cold air somewhere and can’t figure out why. I check my zip vents and they are all closed—or so I think. I give a small thanks of prayer to switching to my other leather jacket. I’m not sure how well I’d be faring if I had not done the switch.

I get off the bike and I look at Karla…she has a concerned look on her face—of course, I’m visibly shivering. Our scheduled stop is only 10 minutes…I need far more than that. I finally get a bit warmed up and back on the bike. I’m thinking if this is what the rest of the ride entails, I am going to be in trouble. We press on.

The second stop is no better. We get off the bike and I’m again shivering—along with everyone else. We are in Ogallala, NE and Del says we passed were around 35 degrees. I am cold but I’m also aware that I’m hungry due to the tremendous energy I have to expend to stay warm. We laugh at each other because of the sheer insanity of the trip so far. The thought of “we are crazy” is in my mind…but the other thought of quitting is never brought up.

I also decide to take another look at ALL the vents in my jacket. Seems that I didn’t check my sleeve vents and they are wide open. No wonder I’m leaking air! I close them and notice an immediate difference! Sheesh….

Oh, and Karla finds out she has lost one of her winter gloves.

We talk about range on the gas tanks—Sandy is on a Honda 1,100 and so her fuel range is a bit shorter. We agree that the stops have to be modified to accommodate her tank since her range is a bit shorter than everyone else’s bikes. No problem, we’ll stop every 120 miles or so.

We also switch over leading. After each stop the wing takes the lead and we rotate around. Everyone gets the practice of leading and a mental break from being the front bike. I’m riding wing to Karla leading and we are headed east—into the early morning sunrise.

Not only am I still cold, I can’t see where I’m going! I don’t really understand why this is so funny, but it is! I guess I had to hold on to the humor otherwise I’d be crying. Oh, wait, I’m too cold to be crying!! LOL…

The stops meld into brainless stops…pull in for fuel, gas up, note the mileage, grab a cup of coffee or take a potty break and then back on the bikes…I lead, then Sandy…we just keep making our way east.

Somewhere along the line, the sun does get high enough that it isn’t blinding anymore and the air warms up. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, we have another problem…a pounding headwind!! It is so bad that Sandy, making about 120 miles before flipping to reserve, runs flat out of gas with reserve at 90 miles!! Thank goodness the gas station is right around the corner!!! Someone is indeed smiling down on us!

It is our lunch break too, so we stop and have a bite to eat, call everyone to let them know we are still alive and complain about the cold. I put more layers on—I’m still trying to get warm from the morning. At this point, it is around 10:00 AM

Again, we are back on the road, the miles continue rolling and I’m feeling better and actually starting to enjoy the ride. I settle back into listening to Les Miserables and watching the scenery go by. I’m finally one with the motorcycle and the scenery. It is indeed a zen moment.

The stops fly by--it is pull in, gas up, note miles, quick drink and snack, talk a few minutes with each other and the gas station attendants, then back on the road. Wash, rinse, repeat.

At York, NE our journey takes us South on Hwy 81. This portion of the ride really is quite nice; everyone is in the groove and the scenery is really beautiful. We cross the state line into Kansas. It is heartwarming to be crossing this point—as it is the halfway mark of our journey.

We’ve been in the saddle ten hours already.

The next five hundred miles await us.

Until then…..

Keep the Shiny Side Up….

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Saddle Soar 1000: The Preparation

Bike: Inspected…all good.....he’s ready to go…

Rider: Inspected, all good, she thinks..or maybe…not....

Thursday rolls around and I’m really having a tough time with the concept. It’s just so far away! I call my friends and talk to them; they are encouraging but at the same time, I don’t think they have a real good idea of the doubt that is plaguing me.

I start packing—that’s an activity that gives me tangible proof that the IB is right around the corner. Sigh. What to pack? Lots of warm weather gear, rain gear, gloves, snack foods, tools, cash, etc., etc., etc. I decide I’m going to pack my full faced helmet along with my shorty.

Friday morning rolls around. I have the pressure of getting my papers done; it is a distraction from the niggling worries that plague my subconscious. I finish my assignments, am mostly packed…so I decide to have a bit of a distraction and head out to see my friends at the PPHOG meeting.

Of course, when I walk in, I see my friends—and one girlfriend that knows of my upcoming trip starts worrying me about not getting enough sleep. Yeah, I *know* I have to be on the road at 3:00 am—it’s 6:00 in the freaking evening. If I went to bed, I wouldn’t be sleeping so why go to bed??

I have a fun with my friends and some of them worry me about the fatigue factor. Yes, I am aware of it…but at this point, I knew I was committed to going. Not only did I know that I was fully capable of doing this ride, I couldn’t let my friend Karla down.

I had a few errands to run to finish up my packing—got them completed and managed to get to bed at 10:30 pm. I normally don’t sleep with an alarm clock—even when I worked a “normal” job—I always manage to know what time to get up. This time I set the alarm. It was quite useless since I managed to wake up every hour with the fear that I overslept!

So much for the alarm clock, eh??

At 1:30, I had enough of the nonsense so I hauled myself out of bed and piddled around. At 2:30, dressed in my red leathers, I rolled my Fatboy out of the garage and began my trip.

I get a half block and decided that my red leather jacket was not going to be warm enough and turned around and got my black leathers. I would appreciate it some 800 miles later.

I pull up to the start point—the Shell station at Academy and Woodmen. Sandy is already there; we are poking fun at each other at the insanity of this endeavor—of course at 3:00 AM we have to have a sense of something—so it might as well be humor, right?

Karla and Dad B pull in, with Mom B following behind in the pickup truck. She looks at me and says “you guys are insane”.

Yeah, I agree, and grin back at her. I’m psyched now…and ready to roll.

The start point is the first fuel stop and I have to note my mileage and get a gas receipt to mark the ‘official’ start time. LOL…for once in my life I was actually ahead of the game and had a full tank of gas. I managed to squeeze a whole .87 in my tank!

Oh well, I had the official receipt denoting the official time and location…the Saddle Soar 1000 had begun…

Darn, it’s dark…..

Until tomorrow….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Saddle Soar 1,000….Rising to the Challenge

Ever have an idea that sounds good, make a plan and then in the middle of the plan decide insanity? That is this story….

Earlier in the summer my friend Karla asked me a simple question: “Christine, how about doing an Iron Butt?”

My response was, “YES”.

If anyone does not know what an Iron Butt (IB) ride is, it is a 1,000 mile ride in a 24-hour time frame. It is NOT a race, only a challenge of the distance in the time frame…

This was mid June and the idea was set in motion. Plan the trip, do the trip.

The planning: the route, the date, timing, and the people who might be interested in taking the challenge on.

The route: 1,000 miles east. We knew that riding west was not an option. The weather is too iffy and the passes were just not a good idea. We wanted straight line riding for several reasons: riding the twisties is just too fatiguing, the unpredictability of the weather and the time factor. As much interstate as possible simply because of the speed limits and traffic factor. Being on the interstate is not really a “fun” ride, but I think it is safer simply because of not having to worry about passing on a two lane road with oncoming traffic and the speeds are fairly consistent.

The date: Labor Day Weekend. With it being a holiday, that gave the riders one extra day of recuperation before heading back into the real world. We talked about the traffic on the holiday weekend, but determined that most folks would be traveling on Friday and Monday, so the middle of the weekend should be fairly quiet. So, Saturday, September 2, 2006 was the date chosen.

The timing: Breaking the mileage down, we knew that riding in the dark was not an option. We talked about the best time to leave and debated on different time frames. Ultimately, we decided on leaving early in the morning—at 3:00 AM—just to be back at decent time and not span over two days. So the time was set: to leave at the meet point at 3:00 AM.

Yes, my friends all thought it was crazy.

The riders: Karla and I talked about the riders—who would be interested and who would have the experience to endure the undertaking. Jeanne: certainly could do the riding—but felt that it was beyond her capability so she passed. I totally understood. Chris E.: certainly capable, but had other life issues to deal with. A few others: had something going on or were not interested. Then Sandy: she asked to go.

Sandy has only been riding for a year—and her longest ride was about 200 miles. She just endured a few life changes and was ready to take a challenge on. She asked if she could come along. I felt she could handle it, Karla wasn’t as confident. The three of us debated the issue and then she was given the green light to join us.

So we had three riders: Karla, Sandy and me. At the last moment, Karla’s dad decided to ride in with us. We had our riders.

The weeks ticked down and I was looking forward to the event. Talking to my friends about the upcoming experience was an opportunity for them to warn me: the time in the saddle, the fatigue, the distance….did they think I was not up to the challenge? All the warnings were well meant, however, the week before the event all the well-meant warnings started to erode on my confidence. The demons of “what-if” and “doubt” settled in and started questioning my decision. I had seriously thought of backing out.

Although I knew this was an individual challenge, I also knew that I played a part of the team. We all had to support one another if and when the time required. Besides, Karla said she would kick my butt if I backed out…..

So my mind was made up….I’m going to do the ride.

Heaven help us all..

Next: The preparation………..

Keep the Shiny Side Up…

~The Rainbow Wahine